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The Legend behind the Candy Canes

Which images pop up in your mind when you hear the word “Christmas”? My guess would be red and white, Santa Claus, Christmas tree, snow, presents, fireplace, great food, family….and candy canes! These delicious candies with their weird shape and unique taste are a must during Christmas time and bring some colours in your tree or on your table. For some reason, i always thought that they came from America as they are not very popular in France as far as i know, same in England it seems. After few searches on the Internet, i realise that candy canes were first born in Germany and then mass- produced in the States years later.

Not sure if it’s a legend or the actual true story but apparently everything started about 230 years ago at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany where children who used to go there with their parents used to be very loud and noisy, never listening to the choirmaster. In order to keep them quiet, the choirmaster decided to give them some long, white, sugar candy stick. (we all know that kids would do anything for candy!) To make it funnier, he bent the candy sticks to make them look like a shepherd’s cane, such as the shepherds present at Jesus’ birth. According to the legend, that’s where come from the shape of the candy , also representing the “J” for Jesus…

In 1847, a German-Swedish immigrant in Wooster, Ohio put candy canes on his Christmas tree and soon others were doing the same. Sometime around 1900 candy canes came to look more like what we know them as today with the red stripes and peppermint flavoring.

Finally, around 1920, a guy in Georgia named Bob McCormack, who wanted to make candy canes for his family and friends, started mass-producing candy canes for his own business which he named Bob’s Candies. This is where many of our candy canes come from today!

 

K International Christmas Present Hunt

K International Christmas Present Hunt

Christmas is coming and our social team have been really busy getting ready for everyone’s favourite office event, that’s right you guessed it, it’s Secret Santa! To make sure we didn’t open all the gifts early, the team craftily hid them in and around our website, but with all the excitement they forgot where… Luckily they had […]

5 Creepy Christmas Traditions from Around the World

‘Tis the season to be jolly…but in some parts of the world, Christmas isn’t all “Jingle Bells”  and “Fa La La La’s.” Here are 5 Christmas traditions from around the world that are more creepy than festive.

1. Austria and other Alpine Countries – The Krampus

If you’re good, Santa Claus brings you presents. If you’re bad, he gives you coal or possibly even a switch for your parents to beat you with, right? Right. Unless you live in certain Alpine regions in Europe, including Austria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia. There, the bad kids have to contend with the Krampus, a nightmarish horned demon who basically acts as Santa’s enforcer. The Krampus distributes coal, bundles of birch twigs called “ruten,” and sometimes carries a washtub in which he drowns bad children so he can eat them. Read more

Santa Wrote Back!

Dear Konrad,

Thank you for all your correspondence sent to me.

In the first place, I hope you liked the Christmas presents I got you for 2010.

I regret to say it but I was unable to give you the metal pin slingshot, nor the indoor fireworks set. Those items are listed as hazardous and mustn’t be distributed…

I truly appreciate your concern about my health. Nevertheless I am not intending to shed a pound. To be honest, I have always been a little … fleshy if you like. Times are changing and i know people expect celebrities to look like sticks these days but “Thank God” I don’t live in Hollywood, so no need for me to slim down!

Each time I go to LA, I wonder when I’ll see an A4-size picture of my behind with a tear in my red trousers, flashing at me from a cover of a glossy mag. And believe me it is not easy to sneak away from paparazzi when getting off my sleigh or climbing up a chimney. Read more

What Language Does Santa Speak?

Santa sends toys to children all over the world, or so the story goes. But what is his native tongue? Where does Santa live, and what language does Santa speak?  Since we can’t ask the big guy himself, let’s take a look at the evidence. Here, we examine some of the possibilities.

 The North Pole: English or Inuitnoaa3-2006-0602-1206

Every American kid knows that Santa lives at the North Pole. But where is that, really? In real life, the geographic North Pole is a barren wasteland of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. It would be quite difficult to set up a workshop, and feeding all of those reindeer would take significant expense and trouble.

And in a couple of generations, there might not be any sea ice at all. Santa would need an underwater workshop!

The nearest inhabited area to the geographic North Pole is the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada.

Here, people mainly speak Inuit languages like Inuktitut or English.

But the geographic North Pole isn’t the only “North Pole.” For example, there’s also North Pole, Alaska, where you’ll find Santa Claus House. Santa Claus House is an old trading post turned into a Christmas gift shop that also issues “letters from Santa” to children around the world.

Obviously, if North Pole, Alaska were Santa’s headquarters, he would speak English. Or possibly a native Inuit language- if he’s immortal, that would mean he was there before the Canadians and the Americans showed up, right? Read more

Where Are You Spending Christmas?

From Athens to Tokyo, Moscow to Christchurch, Vienna to Washington, on the 25th of December, a lot of people are going to celebrate Christmas, some under the sun or the snow, around a homemade meal or at a nice restaurant, with family members or friends, exchanging gifts or greetings cards. Some like traditional and other prefer unusual but no matter where you are in the world, it’s this time of the year when you have to share and give, time to be reunited with the people you care, time to make new wishes, time to enjoy the present.  For those of you who might look for a unique place to spend Christmas this year, here are the 10 top destinations in the world.

Caribbean Islands

2500 mile-long chain of islands, crystal blue sea, best beaches in the world, peace…Caribbean will definitely be the experience of a lifetime.

Goa (India)

People never think of India as a Christmas destination but to tell you the truth, the best of sun, sand, and exquisite seafood is there. Goa, known for its modern life and historical legacy seems the ideal state to get the stress of your daily life out of your system.

Holland

Fancy a cosy Christmas with your family? With its picturesque countryside, huge farm lands and large fields of colourful tulips, Holland is the place to experience the rustic lifestyle and a peaceful Christmas.

Las Vegas

So this year, you feel more like a player and just want to spend some good times?  Well my friend, Vegas is where you need to be if you want to spend your days in Casinos surrounded by hot blond girls trying to win the big bucks! Read more

Christmas Dinner Around the World

What makes Christmas special? Some would say it’s family, others would say the presents, and still others would say it’s the food.  Whether it’s a Christmas ham, wassail or candy canes, everyone has a favorite holiday delicacy. Like virtually everything else about the holidays, these delicacies vary depending on what part of the world you are in. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the most interesting traditional Christmas dinners from around the world.

Malta

After midnight Mass on Christmas, Maltese traditionally unwind with steaming cups of Imbuljuta tal-Qastan, a drink made with chestnuts,  chocolate, orange rind and spices. The tender, whole boiled chestnuts make this much more hearty than your average cup of hot cocoa. If you’re curious, try this recipe.

Slovakia

In Slovakia,  as in many parts of Eastern Europe, Christmas dinner is traditionally served on Christmas Eve and is called velija, which means “vigil.” Traditional fare consists of unleavened bread spread with honey or sometimes garlic (oplatky).  soup, fried fish, sweet or savory baked dough balls known as boblaki, dumplings and sometimes potato pancakes.

Mexico/Latin America

In Mexico and some other Latin American countries, families typically gather for dinner on Christmas Eve.  The menu varies according to region and family, but often includes a red-and-green “Christmas Eve” salad that takes its colors from lettuce, beets, pomegranate and other seasonal ingredients.

Homemade tamales are another seasonal specialty.  Most families have their own recipe. Though the centerpiece of the table is usually turkey with spicy molé sauce, it’s really all about the tamales. Other popular foods include salted cod, a green vegetable called romeritos, and a pork and hominy stew called posole.

Hmmm, I think I may spend Christmas in Mexico next year…

Portugal

In Portugal, too, Christmas dinner happens on Christmas Eve.  The star of the show here is codfish, usually boiled with cabbage and potatoes. For dessert, there’s “king cake,” a brioche-like pastry filled with candied fruits and nuts. Traditionally, a small gift is baked into the cake, as well as a single broad bean. Whoever gets the bean gets to buy the ingredients for next year’s cake! Here’s a recipe.

Spain

Christmas Eve dinner in Spain is an epic meal that often extends into the wee hours of the morning. It starts with tapas, of course, followed by a variety of soups and salads. The main course is usually roast lamb or roast pig, accompanied by various other vegetables, seafood dishes, cured hams and cheeses.

The Netherlands

In the Netherlands, most families gather on Christmas Day. The morning often starts out with a rich brunch, often including a fruit-studded bread called kerststol. Christmas dinner is also a lavish affair. It is often served “gourmetten” style, using a special grill that allows everyone at the table to grill their own meats and veggies to taste.

We here at K International hope you enjoyed your Christmas holidays! What was your favorite part of Christmas dinner? Share your favorite holiday foods in the comments!

 

5 Unusual Christmas Traditions from Around the World

Christmas is celebrated in many different countries around the world, but the way it’s celebrated varies from place to place. Here are 5 of the most unusual ways to celebrate the holiday:

Catalonia – Tió de Nadal

In Catalonia, one important part of the Christmas celebration is the “Tio de Nadal,” or the “Christmas Log.” That’s the polite name, at least. The Tio de Nadal is more commonly called “Caga Tió,” or “pooping log.” During the month of December, the hollow log is “fed” each night with sweets, nuts and candies. Then, on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, the log is beaten with sticks and made to “poop” out its presents. The last thing to come out of the log is something less tasty, like an onion, garlic or salt herring.

There are a bunch of different traditional songs that people sing while beating their Caga Tió. Here’s one, from Wikipedia:

caga tió,
caga torró,
avellanes i mató,
si no cagues bé
et daré un cop de bastó.
caga tió!”

This translates to:

poop log,
poop turrón,
hazelnuts and cottage cheese,
if you don’t poop well,
I’ll hit you with a stick,
poop log! Read more

Merry Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

As another year draws to a close, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone we’ve worked with for helping to make 2015 one of the most exciting years in K International’s history. We couldn’t have done it without such great clients or without our team of expert linguists. We look forward to building new partnerships throughout the New Year and continuing our commitment to delivering the best service in the industry.

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Enjoy the Holidays!

Read more

Slades Seasonal Chart Topper Gets Translated Into Welsh

The BBC has reported that Slades Christmas hit ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’ has been translated into Welsh.

Nevarro, from Cardiff and Llanelli got permission to translate and perform the some from original 70’s rocker Noddy Holder.

The cover of the 1973 number one will be played on music strand C2 on BBC radio Cymru on Christmas Eve.

Steff from the band told the BBC “it wasn’t an easy song to translate but we are happy to be the first band to be singing it in another language.

If you want to sing along to the familiar chorus:

“Wel dyma hi,
Nadolig Llawen,
Pawb yn Hapus hwyl a sbri
Edrych i’r dyfodol nawr
Mae pethau ar fin digwydd”